This year, a live-action “Batgirl” film will be released on HBO Max. And while we don’t know when exactly it’ll be available, the movie’s already making history. In January, Ivory Aquino was cast as the first major trans character in a live-action DC Comics film. We Skimm’d how Aquino and her role in Gotham are putting representation in Hollywood under the bright lights.
Aquino is a transgender actress who’s best known for her role in the ABC miniseries “When We Rise.” Where she played trans activist Cecilia Chung. She also played Doctor Perez in Netflix’s “Tales of the City.” Up next for her: “Batgirl.” A lot of the details about the movie are still under wraps. So TBD on what to expect. But here’s what we do know…
Aquino's been cast as Alysia Yeoh — who is the openly trans, bartending, best friend of Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl played by Leslie Grace. Yeoh first appeared in a 2011 comic of "Batgirl." And fans had an inkling that Aquino was stepping into the historic role after Grace captioned a photo as "Barbara and Alysia" with a bat emoji. Also in the movie: Michael Keaton playing...Batman. How original.
In Hollywood, representation has long been an issue — from race to gender identity and sexual orientation. But recently, the world’s started to see some actors in the LGBTQ+ community getting recognized for their work. And other roles — like TV’s first trans superhero Dreamer (hi Nicole Maines) in the CW series “Supergirl” — have put trans characters front and center. Now, “Batgirl” is adding to the change that’s happening in the superhero universe.
TV and film characters can make a big difference to those who’ve largely been underrepresented. And while Hollywood’s making strides, it’s important to remember there’s still a long way to go.
Maria del Carmen Corpus, Maria McCallen, and Kamini Ramdeen-Chowdhury
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